Martin Lewis is best known as a friendly face on daytime TV, always ready with hints and tips on how to save your pennies more effectively, or get a good insurance deal.
But on a recent radio show, listeners saw another side to the money expert, who discussed how hard it was to lose his mother as a child. Martin’s mother was killed in a road accident when he was just 11 years old.
Talking to Lauren Laverne who hosts Radio 4’s long-standing music show, Desert Island Discs, Martin opened up. You can listen to the episode on BBC Sounds here.
My mum was there one day and she wasn’t the next”, he told host Lauren Laverne. “That was it and none of us knew how to deal with it. We were all stunted by it at the time.
“This was 1984: you didn’t have counselling. Certainly you didn’t have counselling in rural Cheshire! So you had to get on with it.
“That was the end of my childhood on that day. I struggled very hard as we all did for a long time. I’m still not over it, I’m just better at dealing with it.”
Understandably, Martin’s mother’s death affected him greatly as he grew up. He went on to explain how the loss impacted his childhood.
If you’re struggling with loss, you can visit ben.org.uk for help and support
“I never went out until I was 18. I never left the house because I wasn’t at home when that happened to my mum. I couldn’t cope with leaving the house because I thought something else could happen. All my friends from school were going to parties, they were 15/16, meeting girls – which I’d have liked to have done, but I couldn’t cope with it. So I made up this lie that I had a social life…
“When I was about 17 I went to a boys school, but a girl on the coach invited me to her party, which was revelatory for me. I really, really wanted to go. My dad was delighted, he and my step mum were going to drive me because they were really happy to see me going out the house.
“But I honestly had no clue at 17 what you wore for a party. Did you wear a suit? Did you wear jeans and a T-shirt? What did you wear? I got myself into such a panicked anxiety about it that in the end I said I was feeling sick and didn’t go. I never went out to a party or the pub or anything until I left school at 18. So my life wasn’t very happy, not my teenage years at all.”
Martin has been a big help when it comes to navigating the tricky new era of Covid-19 in terms of our personal finances.
Martin previously warned us about the risks of booking a holiday any time soon, as it is currently unknown whether travel will still be on the cards for any of us this year.